Purified Water Sales on the Rise – Amaraweera

By Thameenah Razeek | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 30 2021
News Purified Water Sales on the Rise – Amaraweera

By Thameenah Razeek

Despite the fact that Sri Lanka has abundant water resources, purified water sales in rural and urban areas is increasing, according to Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera.

He said our country has 103 rivers, with a majority of them being polluted, and that the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has identified over 11,000 areas where the river system is polluted.

According to the data, the Kelani River is the most contaminated river in our country, and its water is not fit for drinking or even touching. 

“Approximately 80 per cent of residents in Colombo and Gampaha Districts consume water from the Kelani River. At a great cost, the Water Supply and Drainage Board filters and distributes drinking water. Therefore, under our Surakimu Ganga Programme, we will give the highest priority to the Kelani River Cleanup Programme next year,” he said.

The Minister said so recently while participating in a programme to distribute 75 water filters to preschools in the Tangalle electorate, adding that the Government had allocated Rs 2,000 million from the Budget for the Surakimu Ganga initiative at his request for the fiscal year 2022.

He said as part of this initiative, he has directed officials from the Ministry of Environment to undertake projects worth Rs 500 million within the first three months, and that therefore, he will launch a programme with the Navy this week to monitor all polluting regions in the Kelani River.

“According to the evidence I have, it has been established that the water of the Kelani River is polluted in over 1,700 locations. The Kelani River has been polluted between Avissawella and the Peliyagoda Bridge. Therefore, steps will be taken to designate this area as an Ecologically Sensitive Zone and to indicate the river’s protected area within that zone,” he said.  

By Thameenah Razeek | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 30 2021

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